Lancaster St Nics manager calls it quits for new job

St Nicholas Arcades manager Jerry North, Talking Shop project co-ordinator Lucy Green and artist Alice Angus (left) with her work about Lancaster's independent traders which is currently on show in the Arcades.
St Nicholas Arcades manager Jerry North, Talking Shop project co-ordinator Lucy Green and artist Alice Angus (left) with her work about Lancaster's independent traders which is currently on show in the Arcades.
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A popular businessman is moving on to new challenges after 20 years of retail success in Lancaster.

Jerry North is swapping city centre hustle and bustle to manage a former cotton mill which is now a five-floor shopping outlet.

The St Nicholas Arcades manager will leave the city on Friday to manager Botany Bay shopping centre in Chorley.

Jerry has worked in retail for more than 40 years and is excited for his next challenge.

He said: “I will be sad to leave St Nics but I’m looking forward to this new opportunity – it is exciting, a new change.

“I love retail, it is just the ever changing sort of job and no two days are the same and you are dealing with people most of the time, the majority of whom are nice.”

Since moving to Lancaster 20-years-ago, Jerry has witnessed the city centre turn into a booming outlet, with more businesses and shoppers.

He said: “Lancaster has gone from strength to strength. The city centre has been through quite a lot since I started, there has been a number of projects. The cinema didn’t exist when I came here and Marketgate was still under construction. Students were all living on the outskirts of the city and now they live in the city which is great.”

Before coming to Lancaster Jerry worked as a store manager for Robbs of Hexham and head of department at John Lewis.

The introduction of the Lancaster Business Improvement District (BID), which supports the commercial wellbeing of all businesses in the city, is one of Jerry’s proudest moments.

He said: “As vice-chair I wanted to be involved in the BID straight away, another highlight was when we introduced Next during the major development to St Nics.

“The challenges have been more recently with the floods and power cuts, that’s been the hardest part, but there has been a lot more positives than negatives.”

Jerry has also noticed the change in retail with more people wanting a good “online presence” as well as a “high street presence”.

Although Jerry will be moving his career to Chorley he is still very much devoted to Lancaster and will commute from the city everyday.

He said: “People have been very supportive and have given me lots of well wishes so I would like to thank them.”

Jerry will leave on Friday and Paul Smith, a former marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, will take on the role as St Nics Arcade manager.